2019 Featured Speaker Bios


Tamara Anderson is an advocate for children and teens, an anti-racist trainer, a professional artist, editor, freelance writer, and blogger with over 20 years of experience as an educator. Currently she supervises middle and high school pre-service teachers at Lasalle University and serves as an adjunct at Harcum College. Her work with juvenile justice led to her being the recipient of the Leeway Grant for Art and Social Change. Tamara provides workshops in effective therapeutic strategies that combine music and theatre with human services, social work, juvenile justice, and education. She is one of the founding steering committee members of the National Black Lives Matter Week of Action at Schools, the co-chair of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee of the Caucus of Working Educators (WE Caucus) (Philly Black Lives Matter Week of Action), a previous steering committee member of the WE Caucus (4 years) and a member of the Melanated Educators Collective. Tamara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. Tamara holds teaching certificates in English and Theater from three different states including Pennsylvania. She continues to organize with grassroots organizations in Philadelphia in the pursuit of racial justice.

Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero is an associate professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program at The Ohio State University. Johnston-Guerrero’s research interests focus on diversity and social justice issues in higher education and student affairs, with specific attention to college students negotiating and making meaning of race and racism and Multiracial/mixed race issues. He has given over 100 presentations on best practices and research findings at conferences and institutions around the country and has published over 30 articles and book chapters focusing on diversity related issues, including his co-authored chapter (with Kevin Nadal, John Jay College) in Derald Wing Sue’s (2010) Microaggressions and Marginality, which was first to coin the term monoracism as a unique system of oppression facing multiracial individuals.

[Dr. Newfield’s talk has been canceled.]
Christopher Newfield’s
 work is in critical university studies, American literature since 1990, Californiaculture and society, quantification studies, and the status of literary knowledge. In the first area, he’s written a trilogy of books on the university as an intellectual and social institution: Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke University Press, 2003); Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard University Press, 2008); and The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), which has just appeared in paperback. He is the principal investigator on a project called, “Limits of the Numerical: Higher Education in the Age of Metrics,” supported by a 2-year NEH Collaborative Research Grant. He is very interested in innovation theory—and the role of literary and cultural study (or lack thereof) in moving the U.S. away from tech-exclusive understandings of social change. Newfield has served as co-PI on an NSF grant that founded a Center for Nanotechnology in Society at UCSB, and has immersed himself in renewal energy innovation and co-authored a film, What Happened to Solar Innovation? Newfield also writes about American intellectual and social history (The Emerson Effect, University of Chicago Press), and co-edited Mapping Multiculturalism (University of Minnesota Press) with Avery F. Gordon.  He blogs on higher education policy at Remaking the University, and has written for the Huffington Post, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, WonkHE (UK), The Guardian’s Higher Education Network, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Joseph North is an Assistant Professor in Yale University’s English Department. His research is primarily in the literature of British modernism, with a special interest in the history and theory of criticism throughout the 20th century. His book Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History, tracks the history of Anglo-American literary criticism from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, focusing particularly on the question of its political character.

Fernando Rodriguez, Ph.D. is a first-generation, Mexican American, gay man from the U.S./Mexico border region of El Paso, Texas. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of Social Justice & Inclusion in the Department of Housing & Residential Life at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. His research examines how Mexican American gay men, who were raised along the U.S./Mexico Border, construct masculinity, and how these constructs impact their college experience. In his work, he leverages the scholarship of late Chicana feminist, Gloria Anzaldúa, to understand the tensions that first-generation gay Latino men navigate as they exist within cultural spaces that uphold heteronormative gender expectations while also pushing the boundaries of masculinity norms as they embrace their gay identity. He offers a wide range of experience working within multiple institutional contexts including academic support, multicultural education and programming, LGBT student services, conflict resolution, residential life, and classroom instruction. As a fiercely committed practitioner-scholar, Fernando also holds a breadth of experience working with and alongside students navigating higher education institutions with a particular commitment to scholars from marginalized communities to ensure their voices are heard and that institutional spaces are pushed to more effectively meet their needs.

Ariana González Stokas is the first ever Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Barnard College. She has over a decade of experience directing, managing and teaching in higher education. She has focused her energies on transforming educational institutions into inclusive organizations that actively work for equity and access. This focus has allowed her to blend her research interests in critical university studies with efforts to help educational institutions learn to support and serve a growing population of first-generation and low-income students.



Past Conference Keynotes

Dr. Laura Roy, LaSalle University
Dr. Quentin Wheeler-Bell, Indiana University, Bloomington
Dr. Isaac Gottesman, Iowa State University
Dr. H. Bernard Hall, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dr. David Blacker, University of Delaware

Friday, November 3, 2017

Barbara Madeloni
Massachusetts Teachers Association

Friends Center
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102


Rapheal Randall
Director of Youth United for Change
Saturday, Nov. 4 @ West Chester University


Hiram Rivera
Outgoing director of Philadelphia Student Union
Saturday, Nov. 4 @ West Chester Univ.


Michael W. Apple (2016)

MichaelApplephotoMichael W. Apple is the John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He also holds Distinguished Professor appointments at the University of London, the University of Manchester and at universities in China. A former elementary and secondary school teacher and past-president of a teachers union, he has worked with progressive educational systems, governments, universities, unions, and activist and dissident groups throughout the world to democratize educational research, policy, and practice.

Professor Apple has written extensively on the politics of educational reform, on the relationship between culture and power, and on education for social justice. Among his most recent books are Knowledge, Power, and EducationCan Education Change Society?; and The Strong State and Curriculum Reform. His books and articles have won numerous awards and have been translated into many languages.

Professor Apple has been selected as one of the fifty most important educational scholars in the 20th Century. His books Ideology and Curriculum and Official Knowledge were also selected as two of the most significant books on education in the 20th Century.

He has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Educational Research Association, the UCLA Medal for “Outstanding Academic Achievement,” and a number of honorary doctorates by universities throughout the world.

Professor Apple has worked on educational reform, lectured, and taught in a considerable number of countries throughout the world, where his material has been extremely influential in the development of more socially critical and democratic educational policies and practices.

Ira Shor (2016)

Ira Shor is a Professor of Rhetoric/Composition at the City University of NY’s Graduate Center (Phd Program in English) and in the Dept. of English at the College of Staten Island (CSI).

He started the new doctorate in Rhetoric/Composition at the Grad Center in 1993. There, he directs dissertations and offers seminars in literacy, writing theory, critical pedagogy, whiteness studies, the rhetorics of space and place, and working-class culture. As a member of the English faculty at CSI, Professor Shor teaches courses in writing, literature, and mass media as well as graduate classes for schoolteachers. His 9 published books include a 3-volume set in honor of the late Paulo Freire, the noted Brazilian educator who was his friend and mentor: Critical Literacy in Action (college language arts) and Education is Politics (Vol 1, k-12, and Vol. 2, Postsecondary Across the Curriculum). Shor’s work with Freire began in the early 1980s and lasted until Freire’s unfortunate passing in 1997. He and Freire co-authored A Pedagogy for Liberation, the first “talking” book Freire published with a collaborator. Shor also authored the widely used Empowering Education and When Students Have Power, two foundational texts in critical teaching. His Critical Teaching and Everyday Life was the first book-length treatment of Freire-based critical methods in the North American context.

Bill Ayers (2015)

Professor Ayers is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired). He is a member of the executive committee of the Faculty Senate and founder of both the Small Schools Workshop and the Center for Youth and Society. Dr. Ayers has taught courses in interpretive and qualitative research, oral history, creative non-fiction, urban school change, and teaching and the modern predicament. To learn more about Dr. Ayers and his work please visit his

webpage: http://billayers.org/biographyhistory/

Dr. Tony Monteiro (2015)

Employed in 2003 by Philadelphia’s Temple University as a full time, non-tenured Associate Professor in the African American Studies Department, Dr. Monteiro is an expert in WEB DuBois and former organizer of Temple’s DuBois Lectures and Symposiums. Last year, Monteiro’s contract was not renewed, a move Monteiro claims was a retaliatory act spurred by his outspoken criticism of Temple’s administration and neoliberal gentrification of North Philly, his community activism, and connection to the Black radicalism.


Dennis Carlson (2013)

Dennis Carlson is a professor of curriculum and social foundations of education at Miami University.  He is the author of a number of books in education including: The Education of Eros: A History of Education and the Problem of Adolescent Sexuality(2012), Volunteers of America: The Journey of a Peace Corps Teacher (2012), Leaving Safe Harbors: Toward a New Progressivism in American Education and Public Life(2002), Making Progress: Education and Culture in New Times (1997), and Teachers and Crisis: Urban School Reform and Teachers’ Work Culture (1992).  He has co-edited numerous scholarly volumes, including (with Elizabeth Meyer) Gender and Sexualities in Education: A Reader (in press).  He is past president of the American Educational Studies Association.


Peter McLaren (2012)

Peter McLarenPeter McLaren is internationally recognized as one of the leading architects of critical pedagogy worldwide. McLaren is currently Professor of Education, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles.

Professor McLaren is the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of approximately forty books and monographs. Several hundred of his articles, chapters, interviews, reviews, commentaries and columns have appeared in dozens of scholarly journals and professional magazines since the publication of his first book, Cries from the Corridor, in 1980.

Some of the journals in which Professor McLaren’s work has appeared include: The Journal of Advanced Composition , Ethnicities , The Harvard Education Review , Cultural Studies & Critical Methodologies , Philosophy and Social Criticism , Cultural Studies , Educational Theory , Social Text , Strategies , Polygraph , Australian Journal of Education , and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education , American Journal of Semiotics , Semiotic Inquiry , Discourse: Theoretical Studies of Media and Culture , Interchange , International Journal of Leadership in Education , Educational Philosophy and Theory , Theoria , Journal of Thought , Educational Policy , Cultural Critique , Monthy Review and Socialist Review .

Professor McLaren’s most recent books include Academic Repression: Reflections from the Academic Industrial Complex (2010), co-edited with Stephen Best and Anthony Nocella (AK Press), The Havoc of Capitalism (2010), co-edited with Donna Houston, Greg Martin, and Juha Suoranta, (Sense Pubications), and A Critical Pedagogy of Consumption (co-edited with Jennifer Sandlin, (Routledge). His forthcoming books include A Critical Pedagogy of Consumption (with Nathalia Jaramillo (Information Age Publishers) and Critical Pedagogy and Marxism (Continuum). Capitalists and Conquerors (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), Teaching Against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism (with Ramin Farahmandpur, Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), Red Seminars: Radical Excursions into Educational Theory, Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy (Hampton Press, 2005), Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory (with Dave Hill, Mike Cole, and Glenn Rikowski, Lexington Books), Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), Revolutionary Multiculturalism: Pedagogies of Dissent for the New Millenium , Westview Press, 1997; Counternarratives (with Henry Giroux, Colin Lankshear and Mike Peters, Routledge, 1997), and Critical Pedagogy and Predatory Culture, Routledge, 1995. He is also author of Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education (Allyn & Bacon) which is now in its fifth edition (2006).

Professor McLaren has presented distinguished lectures at a number of North American, European and Latin American universities and continues to speak and write from a transdisciplinary perspective in four areas for which he has become well-known internationally: critical pedagogy, multicultural education, critical ethnography, and critical theory. He lectures regularly throughout Latin America and Europe. His works have been translated (or are being currently translated) into twenty-five languages.

McLaren’s book, “Life in Schools: An Introduction to Critical Pedagogy in the Foundations of Education” (Allyn & Bacon), has been named one of the 12 most significant writings by foreign authors in the field of educational theory, policy and practice by the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; the list includes Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire and Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich. See:


Professor McLaren is the inaugural recipient of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Award presented by Chapman University, California, April 2002. He also received the Amigo Honorifica de la Comunidad Universitaria de esta Institucion by La Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, Unidad 141, Guadalajara, Mexico. In the summer of 2007 he was the featured speaker for the Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker Series at the Culture of Peace Resource Center, Santa Monica , California , where he was presented with the Liberty Medal by Soka Gakkai International-USA, a Buddhist organization with 12 million members worldwide. He was a recipient of a “Lilly Scholarship” at Miami University of Ohio, guest-lectured at the University of British Columbia, Canada, as a “Noted Scholar”, presented the Eminent Scholar Lecture at The Ohio State University, delivered the Claude A. Eggerston Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, presented the Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. Four of his books have been winners of the American Education Studies Association Critics Choice Awards for outstanding books in education. He was recently made Chair of the Advisory Board of the International Association of Educators, and Director of its Education and Politics Division. He has recently become the inaugural recipient of the International Activist Scholar Award for the Advancement of Marxist Theory and Practice, awarded by the Institute for Education Policy Studies, June, 2006.

In 2005, a group of Mexican scholars and activists estabished La Fundacion McLaren to promote the development of critical pedagogy in Latin America ( see:http://www.fundacionmclaren.com ). A special Peter McLaren Chair (Catedra Peter McLaren) was established at La Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela in Caracas on September 15, 2006. He serves in the capacity of Cooperantes Internacionales for Centro Internacional Miranda, Venezuela. He is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.

Peter McLaren’s papers are housed and on permanent exhibit at the Paulo and Nita Freire Center for International Critical Pedagogy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

He is the recent recipient of a doctorate, honoris causa, from the Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2010, and the Paulo Freire Distinguished Research Award from the Paulo Freire SIG, American Educational Research Association, 2010.

Sandy Grande (2012)

Sandy GrandeSandy Grande is a professor in the education department and a faculty fellow in the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy (2011-2013). She has served in a number of administrative capacities at the College including Special Adviser to the President for Institutional Equity and Diversity (2004-2005) and faculty representative on the Strategic Planning Committee (2003-2004). In 2004 she was also appointed to chair the committee to develop the Center for Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) at the College, which was subsequently established in 2005.

Among her many honors and awards, Professor Grande was named as a “founding scholar” to The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy at McGill University, CA. As part of this project she was invited to attend an international meeting of Freire-ian scholars in Baeza, Spain (2009).

In 2011 she was appointed to serve as a member to the EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s Indigenous People’s Work Group. She currently serves as consultant-evaluator to the American Indian College Fund/Kellogg Foundation’s Wakanyeja Sacred Little Ones Early Childhood Education Initiative. She is the founder and director of the Tecumseh Institute, a Think Tank for Native American and Indigenous Public Policy and Intellectual Discourse based in New York City. She has also served as committee member on the National Education Taskforce’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity since 2007 and has been an advisory board member for the National Science Foundation and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s Generations of Knowledge: Traditional Environmental Knowledge since 2008. She was also named “Higher Education Multicultural Faculty of the Year” (2004) by the Connecticut chapter of the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME). NAME is an international organization that brings together individuals and groups with an interest in multicultural education from all levels of education, different academic disciplines and diverse educational institutions and occupations.

Her current research examines the intersections between critical theory and American Indian Intellectualism. Her approach is profoundly inter- and cross-disciplinary, and has included the integration of critical Indigenous and Marxist theories of education.

Professor Grande has written several articles including “Beyond the Ecologically Noble Savage: Deconstructing the White Man’s Indian,” Journal of Environmental Ethics; “Critical Theory and American Indian Identity and Intellectualism,” The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and “American Indian Geographies of Identity and Power: At the Crossroads of Indigena and Mestizaje,” Harvard Educational Review. She has also peer-reviewed and edited articles including the special issue of Tensôes Mundias/Tensiones Mundales/World Tensions: The Political Economy of Natural Disasters (forthcoming in 2013) and the “Confessions of a Fulltime Indian” in the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy (2011). Her current manuscript in progress is titled Pedagogy of the Dispossessed: Decolonization and the Struggle for Critical Democracy.

As a teacher and scholar, Professor Grande centers her work in the belief that education is the heart of a critical democracy. She asserts that questions about education cannot be reduced to disciplinary parameters, but must include issues of power, history, self-identity and the possibility of collective agency and revolutionary struggle. Thus, rather than reject the language of politics, Professor Grande constructs teaching as the link between public education and the imperatives of democracy. Moreover, in her work with Indigenous schools and communities, Professor Grande draws connections between the political project of forming a new critical democracy and the Indigenous struggle for self-determination and tribal sovereignty. Professor Grande teaches Foundations of Education, Methods of Teaching, and Public Policy and Social Ethics. In addition to these courses, she has also taught courses in the History of American Education and the Pedagogy of Revolution.

Dr. Antonia Darder (2011)

Antonia Darder

Antonia Darder is currently with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is a Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Latino/a Studies. She taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of California Irvine (2001-2002), a Professor of Education and Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University (1990-2001) and at Pacific Oaks College where she developed the first graduate program in Bicultural Development. She has also taught at California Polytechnic University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as a Distinguished Professor at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. Her current work focuses on comparative studies of racism, class and society. Her teaching examines cultural issues in education with an emphasis on identity, language, and popular culture, as well as the foundations of critical pedagogy, Latino/a studies, and social justice theory.

Dr. Mike Cole (2011)

Mike Cole

Doctor Mike Cole is Emeritus Research Professor in Education and Equality at Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, UK. He has published extensively on equality issues. Recent books include Marxism and Educational Theory: Origins and Issues (Routledge, 2008); Critical Race Theory and Education: a Marxist Response (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); Racism and Education in the U.K. and the U.S:Towards a Socialist Alternative (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), Equality in the Secondary School: Promoting Good Practice Across the Curriculum (Continuum, 2011) and Education, Equality and Human Rights: Issues of Gender, ‘Race’, Sexuality, Disability and Social Class 3rd Edition (Routledge, 2011)